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Research Project: National Animal Germplasm Program

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Title: Utilizing cattle genetic trends to evaluate the robust nature of gene bank collections

Author
item Blackburn, Harvey
item Wilson, Carrie - Welsh
item PAIVA, SAMULE - Labex - Embrapa
item Spiller, Scott
item Purdy, Phil

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/12/2015
Publication Date: 7/12/2015
Citation: Blackburn, H.D., Wilson, C.S., Paiva, S., Spiller, S.F., Purdy, P.H. 2015. Utilizing cattle genetic trends to evaluate the robust nature of gene bank collections. Meeting Abstract. ADSA-ASAS Joint Annual Meeting Orlando, FL July 12-16, 2015.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The National Animal Germplasm Program has developed substantial germplasm collections (>800,000 samples) for more than 300 unique livestock populations or breeds. Gene bank utilization is relatively new to the livestock sector and the long term genetic relevance of such collections has not been documented in terms of how far into the future the captured diversity might be commercially useful. Comparing the annual average PTA or EPD for the various traits computed by the respective breed associations with the collection’s PTA/EPD statistics (mean, standard deviation, and extremes) may be a comparison that provides insight as to how well the collection mirrors the in-situ population. Six breeds (with collection sizes) selected for comparison were Holstein (5,393 hd), Jersey (873 hd), Angus (703 hd), Hereford (252 hd), Charolais (86 hd), and Brangus (70hd). Birth years for the bulls in each breed spanned: 50, 60, 55, 60, 45, and 35 years, respectively. Trends for PTA or EPD for each trait computed by the respective associations were developed. Compared were breed average (in-situ population) vs collection: average, standard deviation and minimum and maximum values for the respective breeds. Across breeds and traits the collection average closely mirrored the in-situ populations’ PTA or EPD estimates over time. When comparing the repository PTA or EPD outliers of any breed to the mean of its in-situ counterpart across traits it was determined that it would take the in-situ average PTA/EBV estimates, for a given birth year, 25 to 35 years to reach the collection’s maximum or minimum value. This finding was consistent across all breeds despite collection size and age. These results demonstrate that animals with samples in gene bank collections could produce progeny that are commercially competitive for at least a quarter century (post collection) and demonstrates that gene bank collections are sufficient to provide protection for the various breeds in the collection. These results demonstrate that continued targeted sampling by gene banks over time will further insure collection utility. In addition to the issue of genetic security, these findings suggest genetic progress has not advanced as quickly in cattle populations as might have been assumed.